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Palladium(pəlā`dēəm), in Greek religion, sacred image kept in the temple of Athena at Troy. It was either an image of Athena or an image made by Athena of her unfortunate playmate Pallas (see PallasPallas
, in classical mythology. 1 Name given to Athena after she killed either a youthful playmate named Pallas or, in some legends, the giant Pallas. 2 Goatish giant killed by Athena when he tried to rape her.
..... Click the link for more information. (1)). According to legend, the image was sent by Zeus to Dardanus, the founder of Troy, and it was believed that the city could not be taken while it possessed the Palladium. Thus during the Trojan War two Greeks, Diomed and Odysseus, stole it. Another legend says that during the sack of Troy, Ajax the Lesser carried it off. The Romans, who later claimed to have the true Palladium in their temple of the vestal virgins, said that Aeneas took it when he fled Troy. But many cities, including Argos, Athens, and Luceria, owned such images, all of which came to be known as Palladia.
palladium[Gr. Pallas, goddess of wisdom], metallic chemical element; symbol Pd; at. no. 46; at. wt. 106.42; m.p. 1,554°C;; b.p. 2,970°C;; sp. gr. 12.02 at 20°C;; valence +2, +3, or +4. Palladium is a lustrous silver-white metal with a face-centered cubic crystalline structure. Directly above platinum, it is one of the platinum metals in Group 10 of the periodic tableperiodic table,
chart of the elements arranged according to the periodic law discovered by Dmitri I. Mendeleev and revised by Henry G. J. Moseley. In the periodic table the elements are arranged in columns and rows according to increasing atomic number (see the table entitled
..... Click the link for more information. . It is strongly resistant to corrosion in air and to the action of acids (except nitric acid) at ordinary temperatures. However, it is attacked by hot acids, and it dissolves in aqua regia. It forms many compounds, including oxides, chlorides, fluorides, sulfides, phosphides, and several complex salts. Palladium has a great ability to absorb hydrogen; when finely divided, one volume of palladium absorbs as many as 900 volumes of the gas. When heated, it allows hydrogen to diffuse rapidly through it; it is thus used to purify hydrogen gas. Palladium is found in nature with platinum minerals and in association with certain nickel ores; the primary palladium-mining countries are South Africa and Russia.
Because of its corrosion resistance, one important use of palladium is in alloys used in low voltage electrical contacts. Palladium is used extensively in jewelry-making in certain alloys called "white gold." It may be alloyed with platinum or substituted for it. It is used in watch bearings, springs, and balance wheels, in surgical instruments, and also for mirrors in scientific instruments. For use in dentistry it is alloyed with silver, gold, and copper. In chemistry it is a catalyst in sulfuric acid manufacture and in hydrogenation processes; it used as a catalyst also in motor vehicle catalytic converters, the use that now consumes more than three fourths of the palladium produced. Palladium salts are used in electroplating. Palladium is not as abundant as platinum, but it was long less expensive. Palladium was discovered in 1803 by W. H. WollastonWollaston, William Hyde,
1766–1828, English scientist, M.D. Cambridge, 1793. His wide-ranging scientific achievements include the discovery (1802) of the dark lines (Fraunhofer lines) in the solar spectrum; invention of the reflecting goniometer (an instrument by which the
..... Click the link for more information. .
(Pd), a chemical element in Group VIII of the Mendeleev periodic system. Atomic number, 46; atomic weight, 106.4. A heavy refractory metal. (SeePLATINUM METALS.)